FRIDAY, JUNE 15: This is the first time that I will not have a father to physically give a gift to on Father’s Day, but I will celebrate my beloved Father, Abdullah Leonard Ming, whom passed away nine months ago.
My father may be gone in the physical, but he is never far away in the spiritual. So yes, we will celebrate him on Sunday none-the-less. We will celebrate what he was and continues to be to his family; this celebration will allow us to pay homage to a great father and grandfather.
What does it mean to celebrate? One description is to show happiness that something good or special has happened by doing such things as eating and drinking together or playing music.
The optimum word is ‘together’— there is no celebrating by one’s self. We must collectively celebrate. The Quran says, “O you who believe, you shall be steadfast, you shall persevere, you shall be united, you shall observe GOD, that you may succeed.” Quran: [3:200]
More often than not we are inundated with moans and groans and bad news. Often we feel what is there to celebrate in this world?
We can easily lose sight of the many things that are worth celebrating. When we take the time to reflect we can find so much to celebrate … we just have to be reflective and grateful for all things — big and small.
As a child growing up in these beautiful shores of Bermuda, my parents and especially my grandmothers, always instilled in me to love who I am and most of all where I come from.
They talked about the elders of the family, relatives I had never met, but felt so connected with because they were kept alive and vivid as my grandparents reminisced about them.
They taught me that my elders were my heritage, the legacy of who I am, where I come from and where I am destined to go.
I always knew that I had a proud heritage; that I had better consider myself ‘privileged’ to have come from such grand roots; and indeed I do. I take nothing for granted.
Hence,I will continue my heritage and pass on my legacy — I will never stop celebrating my beloved elders: my Granny Stubbs and Granny-Mommy Minors. My beloved grandparents Anita Ming and Lenny Tuckett; my Aunt Livvy, Aunt Pat, Uncles George and Willis, Aunt Maxine, Aunt Betty, Aunt Ena … oh yes my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren too will constantly hear of those beloved elders, they will hear of their tactics, their journey and most of all their wisdom — we will celebrate them always.
That’s why I am so thankful for National Heroes Day which we will be celebrating here in Bermuda on Monday.
Why am I so thankful to be able to celebrate? Because it fills me with gratitude and allows me to see the best in people and situations and at the same time fills me with inspiration, pride and hope, since we have national heroes yet to come — some born and some not. But one thing is certain they are blessed to have the broad shoulders of our ancestors to stand on.
Our national hero and champion of the abolitionist movement slave Mary Prince, will be recognized as Bermuda’s national hero this year.
I love her spirit and her words “Am I not a woman and a sister?”
Bermuda indeed has many national heroes, many of them unsung. All of who have contributed to Bermuda’s rich heritage.
Celebrations allow us to share, to learn, to recharge, to take action, to change whatever we need to improve on — one celebration at a time.
Islam’s supports the honouring of national heroes as they are examples for us to follow.
Their strength, their courage, their desire to give to their communities are actions we should all emulate.
However, we do not worship heroes, we merely respect them and give them credence.
It is important to honour by remembrance and celebration our national heroes. We have much to celebrate indeed — like the song says, “Truth is, there is more to us — a strength that’s at the core of us, a kindness that still shines, through the tough times, together we will overcome and find a way to rise above anything”.
Proud to be Bermudian!
To our fathers: happy Father’s Day and Bermuda have a Bermudaful, beautiful, safe and harmonious National Heroes Day.